Science-Based Product Review: February 2019 Boxycharm

Is Boxycharm worth it? Do the products included in Boxycharm work? Worth the hype? Find out what we think below with the science-based product review of February 2019’s box.

What is Boxycharm?

If you’re a makeup or skincare lover or just want to start building your collection without breaking the bank, a subscription to Boxycharm can get you started! It’s a subscription where you get 4-5 FULL SIZE products for $21/month. You’ll receive products from brands like Farmacy, Sol de Janeiro, Too Faced, Tatcha, Wander Beauty, Colourpop, and MORE! Each of the full sized products from each of these brands will have a similar cost or cost more than the subscription itself!

What I received in my February 2019 Boxycharm (MSRP: $121)

  • Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara – MSRP: $24.00 (Full Size)

Boxycharm Details: Indulge in a mascara that actually lives up to its name. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara separates, coats and curls each lash to voluptuous perfection. Acacia Senegal Tree Extract sets volume while film-forming polymers lock your lashes in a perfect curl.

Ingredients Overview:

Waxes: waxes are primarily used to increase the thickness of the product film on lashes to help provide volume

  • Synthetic Beeswax
  • Paraffin
  • Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax/Oryza Sative Bran Cera
  • Copernicus Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax/Copernicia Cerifera Cera/Cire De Carnauba

Polymers/Film Formers: most polymers in mascaras are film formers that help with long wear and water resistance

  • VP/Eiucosene Copolymer: a film former that provides water resistance and wear resistance
  • Polybutene:
  • Trimethylpentanediol/Adipic Acid/Glycerin Crosspolymer: a polymer used as a film-former with water-resistant properties
  • PVP: a water soluble polymer with film forming properties
  • Dextran: a glucose polymer used as a binder, bulking agent, and viscosity controller

Preservative & Boosters: since mascara is used around the eye area, it is imperative to properly preserve the formula especially since the product is introduced to various factors during its use. If the product isn’t preserved properly, it can become contaminated and cause possible eye infections and product recalls. Most mascara products are extensively tested to avoid said problems.

  • Ethylhexylglycerin: a multifunctional humectant that can aid the preservation of products. Has antimicrobial efficacy against Gram + bacteria.
  • Disodium EDTA: a chelating agent used to decrease the reactivity of metal ions that may be present in a cosmetic product
  • Phenoxyethanol: a broad-spectrum preservative against bacteria, yeasts, and mold. It is often combined with other preservatives, such as: Ethylhexylglycerin and Caprylyl Glycol. Chelating agents like Disodium EDTA can boost the activity of Phenoxyethanol.
  • Potassium Sorbate: potassium salt of Sorbic acid that is used as a preservative in cosmetic products. Typical pH of products with this range between a pH of ~3-6 (works best in acidic range).

Miscellaneous

  • Aminomethyl Propanol (aka AMP): used as a pH adjuster — pH goes up
  • Polyester-11: a polymeric conditioning additive for hair care (in this case, eyelash care). It reduces static charge, improves feel and combability.
  • Disodium Phosphate: a buffering agent
  • Polysorbate 60: a solubilizer
  • Sodium Phosphate: a buffering agent
  • Acetyl Hexapeptide-1: stimulates hair pigmentation, darkens it

Conclusion: I have very straight, non-curling, non-lifting lashes, so I have yet to find a mascara that completely wows 😯 me. This mascara was not life changing for me, but I do applaud the use of different waxes & film formers to provide long wear and water resistance.

I’m unsure of the pH of the final product, — I can’t exactly scoop out all of the mascara to test the pH — and I honestly wonder what the pH of the product is because Potassium Sorbate is usually formulated at lower pHs for it to work effectively or it’ll precipitate out… The only reason I point this out is because if the pH is on the lower end, it might be irritating near the eye area. But if the pH is on the upper end, the Potassium Sorbate isn’t doing much for this formula. There is the combination of Ethylhexylglycerin and Phenoxyethanol, so I wouldn’t be too worried about overall preservative efficacy.

This mascara was not life-changing for me, so I personally wouldn’t spend $24 on it. It worked just as well as the less than $10 drug store mascara that I normally use, so I will probably just stick to what I know until I find that life-changing mascara!

  • Touch in Sol No Poreblem Primer – MSRP: $18.00 (Full Size)

Boxycharm Details: Create a seamless canvas for your foundation with your new Touch In Sol No Poreblem Primer. The light, silky texture blurs pores and wrinkles, giving your skin a soft velvet feel. Green tea and collagen act as adhesives, holding on tight to your makeup for many hours of flawlessness.

Ingredients Overview:

Silicones

  • Cyclopentasiloxane: a volatile silicone that can add aesthetic properties to products such as silky, slippery feel with enhanced spreadability and feel.
  • Dimethicone: popular silicone that works as an anti-foaming agent, skin protectant, and conditioning agent. It is offered in different viscosities for different fluidity, and I really like how 50 cst and 100 cst feels.
  • Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer: acts as a viscosity increasing agent and emulsion stabilizer
  • PEG-10 Dimethicone: a silicone that is used as an emulsifier
  • Dimethicone Crosspolymer: typically a carrier for other silicones and thickens it; acts as a conditioning agent, film-former, and texture enhancer in products.
  • Triethoxycaprylylsilane: typically used as a surface treating agent or coating for pigments for ease of dispersion when formulating — Example: so a pigment or colorant, let’s say Red 30 Lake, is coated with Triethoxycaprylylsilane and is sold as a raw material. When you are formulating with this raw material, you would disperse it in an oil or silicone oil before using because the triethoxycaprylylsilane makes it easy to disperse or blend — whatever word choice you want to use — into the oil. This makes it easier for the formulator as well, because you’re not sitting there trying to get the pigment dispersed into your product.

Preservative & Booster

  • Phenoxyethanol: see above
  • Ethylhexylglycerin: see above
  • Disodium EDTA: see above

Miscellaneous

  • Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer: imparts a soft focus effect with an improved, powdery feel
  • Magnesium Sulfate: used as an electrolyte to help partition more emulsifier to the interface — where the phases meet– and help reduce the interfacial tension.

Conclusion: The product seems to be formulated as a water in silicone emulsion with the magnesium sulfate to help stabilize it. Honestly seems like a stable product with a good formulation thought process. I am not completely convinced about the green and collagen acting as adhesives to hold on to your makeup for hours — these two ingredients seem pretty far down the ingredients list to me… ahem, below the 1% line.

Without looking up the ingredients list first (Boxycharm doesn’t include the IL in the box — you have to Google it yourself), I tested the primer on the back of my hand and felt an instant cushion effect. It has that “silicone” feel that people sometimes look for in primers.

I have very large, noticeable pores, so I did not see a major difference with this primer in terms of pore minimizing. It did provide a smooth canvas for my foundation, which I enjoyed.

I like primers that have a slight tack once it has set on my face & this primer didn’t have that feel to it. That slight tack would be a film former that would help your foundation adhere to the primer. Although I didn’t have to touch up throughout the day while using this primer, it just didn’t give the feel that I typically look for.

I would actually enjoy just wearing this product alone without foundation to give my face a smooth, blurred look.

For $18.00, you get 1.014 oz (30 mL) of product, which is the “normal” amount you’d receive in a primer. I would definitely consider purchasing this product since $18.00 doesn’t seem too drastic for the smooth canvas that it provided and what I plan on using this primer as.

If you are not one to use silicones, this product isn’t for you. Lots of silicones in this primer, just saying.

  • Farmacy Clean Bee Ultra Gentle Facial Cleanser – MSRP: $22.00 (Deluxe Size)

Boxycharm Details: Smooth and hydrate your skin while lifting dirt, excess oil, impurities, grime and makeup. Your new Farmacy Clean Bee Ultra Gentle Facial Cleanser was made for daily use, keeping those with sensitive skin in mind. It is formulated with naturally derived ingredients like coconut, sugar, amino acids and a powerful botanical blend of turmeric, chamomile, calendula, aloe and licorice root.

Ingredients Overview:

Surfactants: coconut, sugar & amino acid derived surfactants — most consumers would consider plant derived = “natural”

  • Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate: a mild surfactant that can provide a dense, luxurious foam and elegant after-feel. It is very water-soluble, allowing formulators to produce clear liquid cleansing systems
  • Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine: a secondary amphoteric surfactant that can function as a foam booster & viscosity builder. It is typically used in low irritation and high foaming products
  • Decyl Glucoside: a low irritant non-ionic surfactant that has rich foaming ability and stabilization
  • Lauryl Glucoside: another low irritant non-ionic surfactant that is produced from glucose and lauryl alcohol (sugar & lipid-based surfactant)
  • Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate: an anionic mild surfactant based on glutamic acid & coconut fatty acids
  • Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate: a mild anionic surfactant based on glutamic acid & coconut fatty acids

Miscellaneous

  • Maltooligosyl Glucoside & Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate: reduces the irritation of surfactants, provides luxurious foam, & provides skin protection and anti-inflammation in skincare
  • Flavor: I find it interesting that they chose a flavor instead of a fragrance, but it is a natural sourced flavor — consumers like natural flavors and fragrances. It’s also placed fairly low down the ingredients list — it’s below 1%.
  • Linalool: considered an irritant that can be found in flavors and fragrances. Companies do not have to claim this irritant on their ingredients list, but those who do are typically in the EU market or want to be transparent with their consumers.

Hydrators

  • Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate: Sodium Hyaluronate is the salt of the hyaluronic acid & has a lower molecular weight. Hydrolyzed sodium hyaluronate is the chopped up version that will have an even lower molecular weight — we correlate lower molecular weight to better penetration, so better efficacy & results.
  • Betaine: has hydroscopic & moisturizing properties, strong water binding capacity ensures retention of skin moisture
  • Sodium PCA: a natural moisturizing factor with stronger hydrating power than that of glycerin

Preservatives & Boosters

  • Sodium Benzoate: Typically used in synergy with Potassium Sorbate as a preservative. Products with this combination typically have a pH between 3-6.
  • Potassium Sorbate: see above
  • Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate: a chelating agent that tackles against problematic transition metals & hard water — antioxidant and foam preserver
  • Sodium Phytate: a chelating agent

Conclusion: The Farmacy Clean Bee Ultra Gentle Facial Cleanser is just as it claims. With the very first use, my face felt clean without feeling dry. I typically have oily to combination skin, but since I have been sick lately, I have dry and sensitive skin — especially around my nose area due to Kleenex’s. The cleanser was definitely formulated with dry, sensitive skin in mind since I did not experience any irritation. My skin felt soft & clean 🧼. I haven’t checked the pH of this product yet, so I’m unsure what the pH of the product is. Sodium Benzoate & Potassium Sorbate are most effective as preservatives at lower pH ranges (below pH 6), so I just wonder…

I’ll give an update!

You can also see by their ingredients list that they utilized surfactants that are considered more mild & even included ingredients that reduce the irritation of surfactants. For $22.00, you get 3.4 fl oz! For $28.00, you get 5 fl oz!

Definitely recommend this product!

  • Pretty Vulgar Shimmering Swan Highlighter – MSRP: $32.00 (Full Size)

Boxycharm Details: Allow your skin to capture the light of any room you walk into with this unique, velvety smooth highlighter infused with glow-loving, light reflecting and pearlescent pigments, this highlighter will give your skin the perfect amount of brightness.

Conclusion: I really liked this highlighter! That’s all I have to say!

  • Trestique Primer + Glaze Lip Crayon – MSRP: $25.00 (Full Size)

Boxycharm Details: This two-in-one lip duo features a luxurious lip smoothing primer on one side and a shiny color glaze on the other. The priming side smoothies lips and gloves on like a balm, creating a super smooth canvas. The color glaze effortlessly glides onto your lips to leave behind a pop of soft shiny color

Conclusion: I also really liked this lip crayon! The ‘primer’ portion of the lip crayon gave my lips a nice layer to prep for the ‘glaze’ portion of the lip crayon. I had the color English Rose, and this was a beautiful color for me. I used the lip crayon as a lip tint rather than a full on lip color, which I think is the best way to use this product. It’s very creamy with a sheer to light color payoff.

Final Thoughts on February 2019 Box

Fun fact: February 2019’s Boxycharm Box was sold out! 📦 And the brand launched their first FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) box!

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (3 out of 5): I’ve always wanted to try this mascara because of the great things I’ve heard about it. I never splurged on it because of the price, and now I know that I am still not going to splurge on it. It works like a mascara, but nothing life-changing for me. It’s just one of the perks of having this box — you get to try products that you’ve always wanted to try without breaking the bank!

Touch in Sol No Poreblem Primer (4 out of 5): I really enjoyed this primer. It didn’t minimize my pores the way I wanted it to, but I do have really large, noticeable pores… so what can I really expect? However, the smooth canvas that the product gave my skin was amazing. I do love me some silicones!

Farmacy Clean Bee Ultra Gentle Facial Cleanser (4 out of 5): First off, I just noticed that Clean Bee is supposed to be Queen Bee lol Farmacy is punny. I really liked this cleanser! My skin was already irritated from being sick, so I was very happy to see that my skin didn’t freak out with a new cleanser. It was very mild and made my skin feel clean without feeling dry. I’ll give an update on the pH of the product when I get the chance to check it!

Pretty Vulgar Shimmering Swan Highlighter (4 out of 5): I liked this highlighter! It was pretty! That’s all I really have to say on it lol.

Trestique Primer + Glaze Lip Crayon (4 out of 5): I really liked this lip crayon 🖍! The component is really neat since the lid is magnetic when you put it back on the crayon itself. Super cool! Using it as a tint was the best way for me to use this product, and I am extremely happy with how it applied. I don’t really care for the primer, but it was a nice addition.

I actually really enjoyed this month’s box! I always say this whenever I get a new box (ugh, sometimes I really hate myself lol). I liked 4/5 of the products in this box and enjoy how I get to try products that I’ve always had my eyes on. I recommend Boxycharm to those starting up in makeup or those who just want to try out new products! Example: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara is $24.00, and this box is $21… Must I say more?

Comment below if you found this post helpful or if you have any questions. You can also submit comments/questions through the Contact tab or directly e-mail: cosmeticpadacts@gmail.com.  Thank you for being a part of this journey!
– Cosmetic Padacts

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